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Dcf has opened an investigation on me for dropping dirty for thc after giving birth do I need a lawyer? Wat is dcf's procedure ?

Boston, MA |

Live in Massachusetts and dcf's opened an investigation for my case what is their procedure? Will thy take my baby for marijaunna?

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Attorney answers 3


DCF can treat the case as either an initial assessment or an investigation. See the Integrated Casework Practice Model (ICPM) Fact Sheet that I have linked below.

In either case, they will want to interview you and they have access to your and your baby's medical and other confidential records.

Some practitioners suggest that people should never meet or speak with DCF without a lawyer. What you say can result in them taking your baby. Read my "When DCF Comes Calling: How to Try to Stay Out of the Fire When You're Already in the Frying Pan" blog post, linked below, to help you figure out if you want a lawyer.

They can take your baby if they come to the conclusion that s/he is at risk of injury from abuse or neglect due to your use or history of drug use that inhibits your ability to parent your child in a minimally adequate manner.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your area who regularly practices in the subject matter which your question is about. You should develop an attorney client relationship with the lawyer of your choice so that your communications will be subject to the attorney client privilege and have the other benefits of a professional relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific matter as partially described in the question.

Michael L Rich

Michael L Rich


I just came across another resource that the asker and attorneys representing mothers in her situation might find helpful. National Advocates for Pregnant Women released an expert evaluation report that "urging Florida to give greater attention to existing well-established medical protocols and to address the needs of pregnant women, including the need for greater access to Medication Assistance Treatment and health services that are not linked to punitive criminal justice and unnecessary child welfare interventions." The report, called "Florida Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse & Newborns, February 2013 Final Report: An Inadequate Assessment of the Needs of Women, Children, and Families" is available for download here:


Once DCF has received a 51A, they will open an investigation and either screen in the case or close it depending on what their investigation reveals. If DCF believes an emergency exists in which your child is in immediate danger because of your actions/conduct, they can petition the court for custody in what is called a Care and Protection Case. I would suggest that you speak with a family law attorney who has experience with DCF and these types of issues. In any event, you will want to make sure you are careful about what you say to DCF when they interview you. The best piece of advice i can give-stop doing drugs ESPECIALLY now that DCF is involved. Good luck.

The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and is expressly not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers



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